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Arriva in Kent and Surrey

Connecting Communities in Kent and Surrey

At Arriva, we want to combat loneliness and social isolation by bringing communities closer together.

By highlighting some of the fantastic organisations, charities and centres across our regions, the Connecting Communities campaign aims to make it just that bit simpler for people who may not know where to turn to in their local community.

As a result, we have put together regional guides to a selection of brilliant organisations, community centres and sites that provide their communities with a variety of different services and activities.

We are proud to feature some fantastic places in Kent, providing their local communities with a wide range of services and activities. We have included these entries below, so you can explore what’s going on in your community.

Please use the below to explore two great places in Kent that provide activities for the community. Accessible via the Arriva bus network, we’ve included information on location and routes to help you get there.


downswood community

Downswood Community Association

The Downswood Community Association in Maidstone originated in 1986 as a support network for people moving to the newly-developed Parish of Downswood. Today, the association continues this good work - assisting the local community and managing the Downswood Community Centre with a selection of services, gatherings and groups.

A major long-term goal for the organisation is to develop a true sense of community. Downswood welcomes all local people regardless of background or age – ensuring everyone is treated fairly and equally.

Whilst Downswood may be one of the smallest parishes in the South of English, its community association provides plenty of activities and support for the local people, from keep-fit classes and sports events to drama clubs and martial arts.

There’s a strong charitable drive in everything the Downswood Community Association conducts, helping to raise money for all manner of good causes.


chatham docks

Chatham Historic Dockyard

One of Kent’s most exciting and unforgettable days out, the Historic Dockyard in Chatham is home to three warships, 10 museums and galleries and an amazing itinerary of events and activities to enjoy throughout the year. Spread over an 80-acre site, the entire family can explore a unique array of wartime and maritime artefacts, dating back hundreds of years.

Great for kids, the warships and many of the exhibitions are truly larger than life, and provide a great insight into the wartime history of this proud naval nation. The three historic warships, HMS Gannet, HMS Cavalier and HM Submarine Ocelot, are the undoubted stars of the show, and can be boarded by guests as they experience just a little of what life must have been like for the brave seafaring men of the Royal Navy. The site itself has plenty of history, having been a Royal Navy shipyard for 400 years, and the birthplace of the nation’s most famous ship, the HMS Victory. And whilst the shipyard is not still actively turning our warships today, it still has plenty of stories to share with all who care to visit.


u3a kent surrey


U3A (The University of the Third Age)

The U3A (The University of the Third Age) operates a number of groups throughout Kent and Surrey, providing a great array of learning groups for retired and semi-retired locals. If you want to develop new skills, brush up on your specialist subject, or just meet like-minded individuals, discover if there’s a U3A local to you*.


university of the third age




Arriva Bus Route


Wonersh U3A

63 Guildford to Horsham; 53 Guildford to Ewhurst

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Tunbridge Wells U3A

281 High Brooms to Rusthall

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Tonbridge U3A

7 Maidstone to Tunbridge Wells; 211 Tonbridge local service; 218/19 North Tonbridge to Knights Park; 401/2/2A/2B Tunbridge Wells to Sevenoaks

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Sevenoaks U3A

2 Sevenoaks to Kemsing

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Pembury U3A

6/6a Tunbridge Wells to Maidstone

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Paddock Wood U3A

6/6a Tunbridge Wells to Maidstone

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Maidstone U3A

3 Maidstone Town Centre to Maidstone Hospital; 6X Maidstone Hospital to Tunbridge Wells; 8 Maidstone Hospital to Maidstone Town Centre

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Hawkhurst U3A

5 Maidstone to Sandhurst

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Gravesend Northfleet & District U3A

190 Chatham to Gravesend

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East Medway U3A

113 Chatham to Wigmore

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Cranbrook U3A

5 Maidstone to Sandhurst

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Camberley & District U3A

34/35 Guildford to Camberley

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*Please note – while every effort has been made to ensure the information in the table above is correct, be sure to check the appropriate website of the group you’d like to attend in advance, as the location and rules of attendance can vary.


Our Connecting Communities project is growing fast, with new organisations, community centres and local projects added regularly, and all easily accessible by bus. If you know of an organisation, group or project which you think does an excellent job of enriching the lives of local people, we want to hear from you. Please contact us on [email protected]

For more information about the different bus routes and services throughout Kent and Surrey, use the timetable search tool on our homepage. Or, to find out more about loneliness and social isolation, head back to our main feature page, here.